Before they recorded an out, the Padres scored six times in the bottom of the eighth inning on Saturday night, rallying for a 7-3 victory by beating up on the Nationals' bullpen.
Wil Myers' two-run double tied the game, and the Padres took the lead on an errant throw by pitcher Felipe Rivero on a comebacker to the mound. They'd score three more times in the frame -- once on Melvin Upton Jr.'s bases-loaded walk and twice on Yangervis Solarte's bloop single to left.
"This whole series, I think we've played the Nationals really well," said Myers. "We lost the first two games, but I feel like we've been in every single game. We've had a chance at the end. We played really well against these guys, and tonight we were able to come through with a win."
Despite all the late offense, the game actually began as an old-fashioned Petco Park pitchers' duel. Max Scherzer allowed a first-inning home run to a red-hot Myers, but nothing else -- though he labored a bit over six innings. He recorded 10 strikeouts, including eight during a stretch from the third through the fifth.
Padres rookie right-hander Colin Rea turned in one of the best outings of his young career, allowing two runs over 6 1/3 frames. But he was removed with men on first and second in the seventh, despite sitting on just 82 pitches. Brandon Maurer came on in relief and got pinch-hitter Anthony Rendon to bounce sharply to first, but Maurer couldn't handle the flip from Myers, and Wilson Ramos raced home from third to break a 1-1 tie.
"That was a tough one to lose tonight, real tough one to lose," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Where there's a Wil: Myers' first-inning dinger was his 16th home run of the season, giving him the team lead over Matt Kemp. It was also his ninth this month, putting him one behind Greg Vaughn's Padres record for June homers, set in 1998. The franchise record for homers in any month is 14, set by Ken Caminiti in August '96. Myers also hit a laser double off the top of the wall in the third, but his biggest contribution was that blooper, which fell in front of Nats center fielder Michael Taylor, tying the game in the eighth.
"Sometimes the softest one you hit can be the most consequential," said Padres manager Andy Green. More >
Max effort: Scherzer continued a dominant June with another strong outing. He gave up a few hard-hit balls in the first -- including Myers' homer -- before settling in. The Nats ace recorded his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season and second in a row. The Padres ran up his pitch count to 113 by the end of the sixth, which prevented him from going deeper into the game, although he appeared to lobby in the dugout for another inning before being lifted for pinch-hitter Rendon.
"They had a good game plan against me," Scherzer said. "They were able to go out there and grind some ABs out and really play the foul-ball game and really seemed to have a number on what I was doing and lay off certain pitches and foul other pitches off. Tip my hat to them and how they approached me."
Rocky Rivero: The bottom of the eighth was a disaster for the Nationals, as the Padres' six runs were the most they have allowed in a single inning this season. It began with a shaky appearance from Rivero, who could not protect a 3-1 lead, or record an out. He was charged with all the runs, though one was unearned because of his throwing error. He has allowed 14 runs (10 earned) in 5 1/3 innings across seven appearances this month.
"He's in a bad state right now," Baker said. "Nothing's really going his way." More >
Launch another arrow: It wasn't a save situation, but Fernando Rodney recorded yet another scoreless inning on Saturday night. He's gone 24 1/3 frames without allowing an earned run to start the season, 1 2/3 innings shy of tying Randy Jones' club mark, set in 1975. The Padres' record for longest scoreless streak at any time in a season is 33 2/3 -- set by Cla Meredith in 2006.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Myers' steal against Scherzer in the sixth was the first stolen base Scherzer has allowed this season. In 10 attempts this year, Myers has swiped nine bags, making him one of five players in baseball with a stolen-base percentage of 90 or higher. He joins Jose Altuve,Josh Harrison, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout (minimum 10 attempts).
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals: Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Nationals as they wrap up the first set of this three-city, 10-game road trip. Gonzalez owns a 5.12 ERA this month, though he has shown flashes of brilliance with 27 strikeouts to just six walks.
Padres:Drew Pomeranz takes the hill for Sunday's series finale, following consecutive shaky outings. The left-hander has been the Padres' best pitcher this season, and is carving himself a case for All-Star consideration if he can find his form from April and May. He owns a 2.88 ERA with a .189 batting-average against, good enough for third in the National League. First pitch is slated for 1:40 p.m. PT.